Another Sunday means another session of the 4e game. (Which needs a name; I had planned to name it after their adventuring guild name, but the players have not provided. Alternate plans are being explored.) This time, they almost managed to get through two encounters -- outside and inside the kobold lair. (The second being the infamous Irontooth encounter.)
They are also starting to learn 4e teamwork. After rushing into the first combat (Liam started shooting at things) they took their time, scouted the cave, and devised a cunning plan. They still might all die, because the encounter is just as tough as I've heard, but they've brought down all but the two dragonshields and Irontooth, and they're still in pretty good shape. They're through a lot of their healing, but not all of it, and most of them still have dailies.
Most encouraging is that Thyme, the least tactical of the bunch, is starting to get a handle on the system. She's making pretty good use of her powers, and while I think we've been misinterpreting certain rogue powers as ranged and she'd be more effective in melee, the learning curve is not as frustrating as I'd feared. She's also switched her half-elf encounter power from eyebite to scorching burst, which has been fun and useful, giving the team a little battlefield control they were missing after the wizard died.
It's also got me thinking that the wizard may now actually be the least complicated class to run. Everyone has the same power scheme, and if the wizard has a good team backing her up she has a lot less to juggle than the rest of the group. Which is weird, historically, but I may start recommending that the new players play wizards and ask the veterans to play defenders. Crazy edition.
It wasn't all dice and dragons, though. We seem to have hit the "storming" stage, and it's a little worse than I'm used to. They got into a huge, almost-shouting argument over whether to go to the dragon graveyard or the kobold lair first, and later into another about which entrance to use to attack the lair. Probably the worst argument I've ever witnessed at a table, but it's a new group, so things should settle down. Next time, I'll do a secret ballot, use a little of my DM power for good before things get too contentious. And maybe talk to a couple of people outside of the game; I'm still hopeful the group can resolve itself, with a little helpful guidance, but I've done that kind of thing before, and sometimes it's necessary.